COVID-19 Vaccine Passport Scam

COVID passport scam

Scammers used anything from false masks to COVID-19 scholarships to funeral money to lure victims. They're now concentrating on vaccine passports.

The majority of these ruses are designed to appear to be from the US government. Sylvia, a grandma who fell for the con, received a call saying that now that she'd been vaccinated, she needed to take an online COVID-19 test to ensure the vaccine was functioning before she could acquire a vaccine passport.

"For the first time in more than a year, we're planning a cross-country trip to see our grandchildren," Sylvia remarked. "As a result, I wanted to double-check that we're doing everything we need to do in order to travel."

Sylvia was told that the test would cost her $25 by the con artist. As a result, she provided the fraudster with her bank account number in order to pay for two tests for herself and her husband. The scammer got $500 out of the account instead of $50. When Sylvia reported the event, the bank closed her account.

Texts or emails with links to a testing website, as well as phishing for personal and financial information, are examples of other versions.

It's vital to remember that there is no requirement for post-vaccination testing. There are no online tests available without a sample, and no vaccine passports are necessary. So ignore any unsolicited emails or texts about COVID-19 testing, and hang up on anyone phoning about it.

How to spot a COVID-19 scam:
  • Government agencies usually don't communicate through text messages
  • Go to the agency's website yourself, without clicking on a link, to verify any information you receive via text or email.
  • Ignore instructions to text "STOP" or "NO" to prevent future texts, and don't hit unsubscribe to stop emails. That is a common ploy by scammers to confirm they have an actual, active number.
  • Also, check for look-alikes
Be sure to do research and see if a government agency or organization mentioned in a text or email exists. Find contact information and call to see if what you've been told is legitimate.

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